Millennials in aged care jobs
Career goals can centre around a range of factors, from earning potential to sector demand, workplace environment and more. When it comes to millennials choosing a career however, research suggests that finding meaning in their work is a priority.
A pattern is being seen where younger individuals are seeking career pathways that provide purpose, and are looking to care sectors including aged care, to find these roles.
With plenty of demand for aged care professionals, the sector provides millennials with the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of society — a fulfilling career without a doubt.
Meaningful career in a growth sector
Across most of the world’s developed countries, the population is ageing and Australia is in line with this. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of Australians who are aged 85 years and older is set to double by 2042 which will result in a larger aged care sector and a greater demand for aged care workers. Aged care jobs need to be filled by qualified professionals who are committed to improving the lives of the elderly.
This demand creates an opportunity for millennials who are pursuing purpose through their work to secure employment in the aged care sector, particularly at a time when the sector is facing significant reform. The recent Royal Commission into Aged Care will release their final report within the next few months, and it is expected to address strong recommendations around education and training, as well as better attraction, retention, remuneration and career progression for staff working in the sector.
This aged care sector overhaul will likely result in aged care jobs offering more rewarding opportunities for staff and a focus on creating a high-quality care sector meeting the needs of ageing Australians.
Aged care jobs that make a difference
Part of meeting the needs and preferences of the elderly in our communities is through the provision of a variety of types of care. For the aged care recipients this means more choice in how they live their lives, and for aged care workers it creates a range of aged care job types and roles to choose from in a career in the sector.
Residential care worker
Involve providing physical care and emotional support in a clinic, hospital or residential care facility, and helping elderly individuals with their day-to-day tasks.
Home care assistant
Provides similar care but in a home environment for ageing individuals who want to continue to live at home and need support in maintaining a level of independence.
Lifestyle program coordinator
Responsible for developing a program of activities for older clients that works in tandem with care plans and individual preferences.
What these aged care roles all have in common is that they provide the opportunity to offer a lasting and positive impact on the lives of elderly people.
Millennials enriching lives through aged care
While millennials may initially view aged care as a career for older people, age and life experience don’t play a role in one’s ability to succeed and flourish in the sector. What is important are personal qualities such as compassion, empathy, patience and kindness. For a great sense of purpose through aged care jobs, be willing to open yourself up to connecting with the work you do and the people you care for. Many aged care professionals find the relationships they build and stories they hear through their work to be the highlight of their career path. In many ways, aged care can have a meaningful difference in the life of the carer as much as the elderly clients.
Of course, millennials, and all age groups, don’t only enter aged care to help others and gain a sense of purpose from their work — there are many benefits to enjoy and reasons to join the aged care sector, including:
Frequently cited as a highlight of working in aged care, the relationships you build with clients can be highly rewarding. Not to mention the stories and wisdom gained through them. The knowledge that you are bringing about genuine change for the better in another person’s life is further enhanced when you know something about their story and their life.
Diversity in the workplace
In aged care jobs, no two days are the same. You will work with a range of people undertaking a range of responsibilities. Rather than sitting as a desk all day, you are likely to be engaging with people which goes a long way to keep you feeling energised and inspired in the workplace.
As a personal care worker, your career can evolve to coordinator and manager roles or you may even explore a move toward nursing through further studies. Once you have started in aged care, there are various options available to advance your career as a carer.
Pride and purpose in aged care jobs
A career in aged care often begins with the entry level qualification — a Certificate III in Individual Support. With workplace training, you can work and study simultaneously, enabling you to earn while you learn. Within 12 months you can build a career that involves making a difference to the quality of life of elderly Australians. When it comes time to progressing your career, further training can see you advance into leadership roles, such as with a Certificate IV in Ageing Support, or develop lifestyle plans through a Certificate IV in Leisure and Health.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, if you feel you have the qualities to shine in aged care then there’s no time like the present to get started. Royal College Aged Care Trainer, Michelle Gleeson held off on pursuing aged care jobs when she was younger, only to find herself wishing she had started sooner.
“From the minute I started the course, I just thought to myself – this is what I should have been doing”.
“It’s just an honour to go in there and make a difference in people’s day. It’s an honour to sit there and hold someone’s hand while they pass away, and do whatever you can to improve the time they’ve got left and make it special”, says Michelle.
A career in aged care is a career you can truly be proud of. Heading to work each day is made easier when you know that you are going to have a positive impact on another person’s life, and that’s what you do in aged care jobs.
Contact Royal College and get started in a purposeful aged care career.